Governor DeSantis signs bill for preservation and protection of Florida’s environment

April 5, 2024
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Revenue generated from the Seminole Tribe Compact will be used.

The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has signed Senate Bill (SB) 1638, which will provide funds for necessary repairs and upgrades to the Central and South Florida Water Management System. 

Last month, a Florida bill that proposed to allocate millions of gambling revenue towards projects relating to preserving green spaces, waterways and wildlife, made its way to the Governor’s desk. 

With this new legislation, which has been signed by DeSantis, $150m will be provided for the repairs and upgrades, while the bill also sees 96% of the revenue generated from the Seminole Tribe Compact to fund water quality improvement, infrastructure, as well as the continued acquisition and management of Florida’s conservation lands. 

In April 2021, the Florida Governor and the Seminole Tribe agreed to a gaming compact which at the time was estimated to generate $2.5bn revenue-sharing guarantee in the first five years, with $6bn in new revenues for Florida through 2030. 

For the fiscal year 2024-25, the latest legislation is due to see the revenue distributed in several ways, involving wildlife, agriculture, water quality and a number of other areas. 

Governor Ron DeSantis said: “Among Florida’s greatest assets are its natural resources.  

“This revenue stream will further enhance our efforts to conserve our natural resources, protect our waterways, and make our ecological infrastructure more resilient.” 

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton added: “In recent years, our state has made unprecedented investments to protect our wild spaces, improve water quality and preserve our natural resources. 

“The consistent revenue stream from this legislation will allow the state to double down on its efforts to protect Florida’s natural resources for generations to come.” 

In other news from the state, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled in favor of online sports betting operations by the Seminole Tribe after opponents filed a petition to challenge the compact. 

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